29 May, 2016

Stalking Oregon's Waterfalls

Location: Umpqua National Forest

Last year our plans to wander around in Oregon for a while before heading further south were put on hold due to the RV's blown head gasket. We finally had a chance to go exploring and guess what we found?

Waterfalls!! Lots of waterfalls!

On our way we stopped in at Crater Lake.  We went there a few years ago but didn't see anything but fog and snow - it was a lot different this time.

On a whim, we headed over to the Umpqua forest to do some exploring. We picked up a brochure that listed all of the waterfalls in the area and decided to see as many as we could while we were there.
Clearwater Falls
We voted Watson Falls at 293 ft. the most spectacular.
Watson Falls
 Miles of hiking later, we are happy to report that the falls are still there and, thanks to the wet winter, were at or near their best. We saw bald eagles and listened to frogs croaking at dusk, had campfires, and spent a lot of time outdoors. One night we were woken by some wild animals making loud noises. We don't know what they were, and don't really want to.
Toketee Falls
 The 12 foot diameter redwood Toketee Pipeline diverts much of the volume of the North Umpqua River to a powerhouse downstream. It typically sprouts a few leaks as the wood contracts and expands.

Steamboat Falls

Fall Creek Falls

Susan Creek Falls

As you can see a waterfall is not 'just a waterfall'. There are several different kinds: block, fan, tiered, segmented, plunge, punch bowl, and horsetail, among others. They are all so different - some wider, some taller, some dropping for hundreds of feet, some falling in a series of steps.
Wildflowers manage to find a home in the tiniest cracks

This was hard to capture at exactly the right time, good job nobody was following too close behind

Tiny delicate iris
We had to skip a few of the Umpqua waterfalls due to trails being closed by landslides. So, not having quite seen enough, we drove a little further north to the Row River. We spent a few days here at a great free campground right beside the river. The trails are much steeper here but the waterfalls are still beautiful.

Parker Falls from the top

Brice Creek Falls

Spirit Falls

Rocks covered with ferns and flowers

more wildflowers

Captivating spiral fern

All in all it was an impressive and fun outing.